talks exclusively to GGF about innovation, collaboration and thinking outside the box.
With the increased pace of global and environmental change, it has seldom been so challenging to lead public services.
One country, New Zealand, has successfully adapted its public sector through acceptance of trial, error and innovation.
Clearly there are lessons to be learned by many countries currently unwilling to accept the level of trial and, importantly, error that New Zealand has experienced.
However, for Iain Rennie, State Services Commissioner, New Zealand does start with some advantages:
explains why he
thinks that is:
While acknowledging the forward-thinking already in place, Mr Rennie
sees there is more to do:
â€˜Because of some of the really hard issues that we are trying to grapple with, and the need to meet a rise in community expectations, we ourselves feel we have to do better about being both more innovative and exercising more speed in bringing appropriate innovation to policy or to service delivery, whatever is relevant.â€™
For New Zealandâ€™s public sector, the solution seems to be not just a willingness to try new things, but to also embark on a high level of collaboration within departments and organisations.
acknowledges that advice from one country does not necessarily transfer easily to another but, given that caveat, he
also chooses these as the two major threats to New Zealandâ€™s stability.
The economic crises in the world which are still playing out are very much at the forefront of planning and consideration in New Zealand.
The other aspect, as Mr Rennie
explains, is the concern over global terrorism. â€˜I think we are all much more aware of the broad security environment that countries are working on.
While New Zealand is still in many ways a relatively low risk environment, we are not immune from some of the challenges around potential terrorism that you see in other countries at the moment.â€™
While these challenges are recognised, what can be unsettling is the sheer speed at which crises and changes develop. As Mr Rennie
put it: â€˜One of our key challenges is the pace and impact of global trends through to our country.
To Mr Rennie
, a return to a stronger global economy has more than the obvious advantages. â€˜Lifting living standards right across the globe is important in terms of addressing concerns about economic or social inequality.
As Mr Rennie
says: â€˜There is a wide set of metrics that you want to look at, such as the sustainability of resource use in the environment, a sense about attitudes and feelings of social inclusion through the community.
â€˜We have made it clearerâ€™ says Mr Rennie
, â€˜about where some decisions actually do reside within the civil service.
While Mr Rennie
freely acknowledges that what is working in New Zealand is not a simple template for every country, it is clear that New Zealand continues to be a trailblazer in public service delivery.